Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Yahoo Introduces "Nocontent" Syntax

It looks like search engine makers have a hard time differentiating between content and navigation areas on web pages. However, this differentiation may be helpful in improving ranking quality, and showing more relevant result snippets. Yahoo now introduced a special CSS class called “robots-nocontent”. Use it on elements like a <div> or a <p>, and you’re telling Yahoo that this part of the page is “unrelated to the main content.” Yahoo’s help entry on the subject suggests this syntax is suited for “headers, footers, navigational sections, repeated boilerplate text, copyright notices, ad sections, or dynamic content that is useful to users – but not to search engines.” (Weird; since when is a site’s navigation not useful to search bots?)

I wonder if other search engine makers will follow (the “nofollow” initiative for instance was a group effort by several big search engine makers). It’s annoying enough for webmasters to work for searchbots instead of their human visitors, but to work for just a single searchbot is even worse. Also, with this particular new syntax of Yahoo, at this time I can see more questions being raised than answered... and I can imagine that quite a few webmasters will steer clear of using this syntax because they’re afraid it might lower their own site’s ranking.


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!